2007 Verve Awards

2006 Verve Awards

Best Arts and Culture Blog 2005 Queer Day Awards

Best Gay Blog Nominee 2004 Weblog Awards

Best Arts and Culture Blog Nominee

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Stage Addiction: Yeah, But Who's Playing The Donkey?

- In the first direct Hollywood challenge to the legit power of Disney, Dreamworks announced that its animated benemoth Shrek will land on Broadway like an atom bomb in 2008. The musical, with songs by Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and book by David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), will combine the stories of the first two franchise movies. A workshop scheduled for January will reportedly feature one of two stage stars: Tony winner Dan Fogler (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) or veteran Kevin Chamberlin (Seussical). We're surprised, actually...we think Disney's own papa ape Shuler Hensley (Tarzan, Oklahoma) would be the pitch-perfect ogre. (Also missing from the latest press release...Sam Mendes (American Beauty), who was named two years ago as the director of the project. Is he in? Is he out?)

- With audiences being decidedly cool towards David Hare's Iraq drama The Vertical Hour, there's suddenly an opening in the season for an Important Serious Play. Enter Journey's End, a revival of R.C. Sherriff's 1929 World War I drama co-starring Hugh Dancy, Boyd Gaines, Tony winner Jefferson Mays and Stark Sands, which will begin previews at the Belasco in early February.

- Finally there's a casting decision from Tim Burton's film version of Sweeney Todd that we can support: Alan Rickman will play the dastardly Judge Turpin. Perfect casting, and a longtime theatre and film veteran to boot. (We'll just pray he can sing. Actually, we'll pray that any of them can sing.)

- Now that The Coast of Utopia has extended into May, we probably won't be seeing the planned South Pacific revival that was supposed to follow it, not this season at least. Which means if you want to see Victoria Clark onstage this season, you have two options: Follies at Encores!, or buying the rush seats for The Agony and the Agony, the new play by Nicky Silver which is (get this) not open to the public or to critics. Guess someone's a little fragile.

- More recoupment news: The Drowsy Chaperone is now officially in the black. Congrats!

- There's a 3-minute preview video up of the reality show You're The One That We Want, which will cast the leads of the new revival of Grease; watching the amateurs butcher their way through the material, I'm certain any working artist will weep like a baby. And It just keeps getting worse: the show will feature a cavalcade of C-list guest stars who have been a part of the musical in one production or another. The current lineup: Jeff Conaway, Adrian Zmed, Marilu Henner, Lucy Lawless, Barry Bostwick, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Jai Rodriguez. Wait a minute...did you say ADRIAN ZMED?!?! That dude is friggin' awesome! (As all devotees of Grease 2 will tell you.)

- Are you just dying to see Dirty Dancing: The Musical, but don't have the cash to fly to Britain for a matinee? If you'll wait a year, you can fly to Toronto: it's cheaper, which means you'll be less disappointed, we think.

- I realize that 2007 hasn't even started, but I'm going to throw this out there as possibly the Gayest Concert of the Year: the upcoming Leading Men II concert at Birdland, sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. John Tartaglia, the Tony-nominated star of Avenue Q who recently returned to Broadway in Beauty and the Beast, will host the evening featuring Tom Andersen, Jim Caruso, Matt Cavenaugh (Grey Gardens), Tim Di Pasqua, Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), David Gurland, Telly Leung, Norm Lewis (Les Miz), Perry Ojeda, Daniel Reichard, Christopher Sieber (Spamalot), Ben Strothmann, Jim Walton and John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys). By my count, at least half of these men are more festive than a coconut fruit salad, if you know what I'm saying...and those are just the ones I've met personally. Everybody, conga line starts behind me!



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